Database

Millstone

Other names: Van Nest's Mills. Millstone (Somerset County) is the modern name but during the revolution it was called Somerset Court House. It should not be confused with Millstone (Middlesex County).

What:
Skirmish, *General Philemon Dickinson vs. Lieutenant Colonel Abercromby, 20 Jan 1777

Where: 40.4992707 -74.58876792 Millstone (GNIS)

Maps: [map notes]

  • 40.4992707,-74.58876792 Millstone (GNIS)
  • GNIS Record for modern Millstone. Note mapping options.
  • Confidence: 5, modern Millstone, 3, action.

  • 40.4992707,-74.58876792 Millstone
  • ACME Mapper.
  • National Map
  • Google
  • Confidence: 5, modern Millstone, 3, action.

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Sources:

  • Glenn Valis, The Battle of Millstone. Quote from journal believed to be that of William Churchill Houston, Amwell Militia:
    Staid here in peace till Monday morning [January 20] we then received an Alarm and were ordered to march to Boundbrook, we arrived there between 11 and 12, then hearing that the Enemy was plundering at Millstone, we immediately marched for that place, being joined by a considerable body at Boundbrook we marched on till we passed Raritan Bridge , hearing several Cannon fired, while on the way. After crossing the Bridge, the Battallion I was in was taken off for the left wing, I crossed Millstone, some distance below the Bridge*, wading through the water, more than knee deep. We immediately marched towards the road, and fired upon the Baggage Guard, who were retreated that way. They immediately left horses wagons and plunder, and returned with the greatest precipitation. The main body of the Enemy lay just over south of the Bridge . Before we crossed the River below, our main Body began the Attack at the Bridge with one Field piece and made the Enemy give way. They continued their fire upon the Enemy some time. Our wing, after driving the Baggage Guard, pursued on and flanked the Enemy. After a short engagement, finding ourselves greatly overpowered with numbers, we receivecl General Orders to retreat, having had 1 man killed and 2 wounded. and we had taken 2 of the Enemy prisoners. We then retreated back to the River, lest our retreat should be cut off. But finding the Enemy did not pursue, we rallied again, with as many of our men as we could collect, and marched on towards the Enemy the second time; but when we came in sight of them, they got possession of an eminence in the End of a clear Field, with one or more Field pieces and poured down theil Grape shot upon us briskly. Then finding it in vain to attack them with our little Body, under so great a disadvantage, we immediately retreated back and most of our men went over the River up into a clear field, to where our main Body had by this time collected....*

    * Journal of a Militia man (William Churchill Houston?) the Princeton Standard, May 1, 8, 15, 1863, quoted from New Jersey in the Revolution, a Documentary History, page 334-336

  • "The Battle of Millstone / Van Nest's Mills" from Genealogy, Inc. Summary with quotations including the above. (sources not provided).

  • Archives of the State of New Jersey, First Series, Second Series, Volume I, p.275-6, Trenton, N. J. : The John L. Murphy Publishing Co., 1901.
    NEW JERSEY IN THE REVOLUTION. [1777
    Extract of a letter from Rariton, (New-Jersey) Jan. 23.
    "Last Monday a party of Jersey Militia, consisting of about 400, and about 50 of the Pennsylvania Rifle-Men, marched to attack a body of the enemy, consisting of about 600, who were posted at a bridge at Millstone river, near Abraham Vannest's mill, which is two miles from Somerset Court House. In order more effectually to prevent our men from crossing, the enemy had placed three field pieces on a hill, about 50 yards from the bridge, when our men found it impossible to cross there, they went down the river, broke through the ice, waded across the river up to their middles, flanked the enemy, routed them, and took 43 baggage waggons, 104 horses, 115 head of cattle, and about 60 or 70 sheep We lost 4 or 5 men. We took 12 prisoners, and from the best accounts ... the enemy had about 24 or 25 killed and wounded. A man who came from Brunswick this afternoon says, the enemy allow that they lost 35 or 36 men, but say the rebels lost 300. There were not more than 400 of our men crossed the river : The enemy report that they were attacked by 3000 of General Washington's troops there, and were absolutely certain they were not Militia, they were sure that no Militia would fight in that way.

  • RevWar75 RevWar75  
  • Jan 1777 listing: 20 Jan 1777. Somerset Court House (Millstone). Shown as American victory. Per Heitman and Peckham. Boatner given as source.
  • Jun 1777 listing: 17 Jun 1777 Millstone. Shown as draw. Ref: Boatner. Per Heitman.
  • Oct 1779 listing: 26 Oct 1779 Somerset Court House. Insufficient data. Per Widmer, Braisted.

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